The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) isn't your average university. The Mexico City-based school was started in 1551 by King Philip II of Spain (at which point it was called the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico) and is the oldest university in North America and the second oldest in all the Americas. Today, it is the largest university in Mexico and has a strong emphasis on research and cultural impact. UNAM isn't just for students, though; travelers to Mexico City who love history will also enjoy visiting this prestigious school.
The main draw for visitors is to see the Central University Campus, which wasn't built until the 1950s. The Central University Campus is a work of art in and of itself thanks to its modern architecture that features the focal point of a massive block of a building with the side adorned in murals done by Diego Rivera, Diego Alfaro Siqueiros and other prominent artists. Thanks to the artistic flair and history of the campus, it is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity site.
The University Cultural Center is also a big draw thanks to the performances in its concert hall as well as being home to a wide range of exhibits and the National Library. The university is also home to museums that can be toured, including ones that focus on mural artwork, architecture, astronomy and different cultures.
UNAM is located in the downtown area of Mexico City's Coyoacan borough. Its grounds are free to walk through.